Slow stream of voters visit polling stations at Decatur Recreation Center – Decaturish

By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor

Decatur, Georgia – It was quiet in Decatur Square on November 2, Election Day, as voters poured into the polling station at the Decatur Leisure Center. A few said they tried to vote at a nearby church, but eventually made it to the recreation center.

A Decatur resident said he usually votes at the First Baptist Church in Decatur and was confused when he got there. DeKalb County elections previously changed where the early Baptists voted, but so many voters used a mail-in ballot in 2020 that it has been a while since they voted in person.

“I know it’s not, but it almost looks like it’s designed to do [voting] difficult, ”said the voter, who declined to give his name. “I stopped there and it was hard to understand because there was no sign.”

A voter shows off their sticker and stylus after voting at the Decatur Recreation Center on Tuesday, November 2, polling day. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By the time the Secretary of State’s website finally loaded, he said he was already at the Decatur Leisure Center.

Why vote in person instead of postal voting or advance voting?

“I’ve waited too late to know what’s going on, and I hadn’t given it much thought beforehand,” he said. “I did some research yesterday and spoke to neighbors who have ties to the candidates.”

Voters Tiffany and Eric Fessler at Decatur Recreation Center on Tuesday, November 2, Election Day. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Poll manager Gayle Lee said she had worked at Decatur Leisure Center for at least 14 years. Municipal elections are notoriously slow but regular, she said.

A couple who work from home came after their son left for school. Their experience at the polls today has been easy, spaced and not crowded.

“I always vote for education,” said Tiffany Fessler. “We have a son who just started at Renfroe Middle School. It’s important, and that’s why I’m here [in Decatur] and pay the taxes I pay. I’m not going to take this away from someone else.

Voter Chris Scharer with his son Abbott at the Decatur Recreation Center on Tuesday, November 2, Election Day. Photo by Dean Hesse.

“We don’t even spend on education what we have to spend on education,” said her husband, Eric Fessler, who is a former teacher.

DeKalb County polling stations will be open until 7 p.m., except in the city of Atlanta where they close at 8 p.m. For more information on voting today, call the DeKalb County Election Office at 404-298-4020.

More information on today’s elections:

Signage in front of the Decatur Recreation Center directs voters on Tuesday, November 2, polling day. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Municipal elections take place today, November 2.

There will be elections in Decatur, Avondale Estates and in the city of Atlanta. County residents can vote on extending the sales tax on local special-purpose education options. Polling stations will be open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Decaturish will communicate the election results to you after the polls close.

Editor’s Note: Decaturish and the Tucker Observer have published an Election Guide, a 76-page electronic edition featuring Q&A with nearly every candidate vying in our communities. To see it, click here. This special electronic edition features candidates for public office in Decatur, Avondale Estates, Atlanta City Council District 5, Clarkston Tucker and Stone Mountain. There is a PDF version of this, which you can view by clicking here, but due to the format of this e-edition, we strongly encourage you to use the e-reader version.

All election coverage can be found at and

Election day is November 2. Early voting will begin on October 12 and end on October 29. The voter registration deadline was October 4. To register to vote, click here.

To find your polling station, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter page by clicking here.

You must be 18 years old and registered to vote to vote in the November 2 election.

According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, you will need to bring one of the following pieces of identification:

– Any valid photo ID issued by the state or federal government, including a free ID card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)

– A Georgia driver’s license, even if it has expired

– Valid employee photo ID of any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, council, authority, or other entity in that state

– Valid US passport ID

– A valid US military ID with photo

– Valid tribal ID with photo

Polling stations provide audio ballots for voters who are blind or visually impaired and voting booths for voters in wheelchairs. If you need help with your ballot, you can ask a family member or friend to accompany you to the polling stations and fill out the ballot with your choices.

DeKalb County released a list of 10 things voters need to know before voting on November 2. Here is more information from DeKalb County:

Voters in DeKalb County are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their voting options ahead of the November 2 municipal general / special election.

Here are 10 important reminders:

1. Before going to the polls on Election Day, voters are encouraged to verify their constituency location on There have been six neighborhood changes this year:

Previous polling place New polling station
Chamblee Civic Center

3540 Broad Street

Chamblee 30341

Chamblee Public Security / Municipal Court

4445 Buford Hwy NE

Chamblee 30341

Doraville Town Hall

3725 Avenue du Parc

Doraville 30340

Doraville Civic Center

377- Avenue du Center

Doraville 30340

Lutheran Church of the Rock of the Ages

5135 Memorial Drive

Stone Mountain 30083

Georgia Piedmont-Clarkston Technical College

495 North Indian Creek Drive

Clarkston 30021

Annex of the town of Stonecrest

(Sears-Stonecrest Mall Building)

2929 Turner Hill Road

Stone Ridge 30038

Stonecrest Library

3123 Klondike Road

Stone Ridge 30038

Church of the Victory

1170 North Hairston Road

Stone Mountain 30083

Stone Mill Elementary School

4900 Sheila Lane

Stone Mountain 30083

Ray of Hope Christian Church

2778 Snapfinger Road

Decatur 30034

Ray of Hope Christian Education Building

2767 Snapfinger Road

Decatur 30034

2. Residents of DeKalb County who reside within the Atlanta city limits are urged to vote by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day to avoid voting by provisional ballot. Voting hours in DeKalb on November 2, 2021 are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Atlanta-DeKalb ridings will officially close at 8 p.m. on election day. Therefore, the 13 Atlanta-DeKalb polling stations listed below will require voters who arrive after 7 p.m. on November 2 to vote provisionally instead of voting on a touchscreen voting machine.

Here are the names / polling locations for the Atlanta-DeKalb ridings:

– BB / Boulevard: Israel Baptist Church, 2071 Hosea L. Williams Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30317

– British Columbia / Briar Vista Elem: Briar Vista Elementary School, 1131 Briar Vista Terrace NE Atlanta, GA 30324 (two polling stations)

– JA / Johnson Estates: Briar Vista Elementary School, 1131 Briar Vista Terrance NE Atlanta, GA 30324 (two polling stations)

– BR / Burgess Elem: Hugh Otis Burgess Elem. School, 480 Clifton Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

– CX / Candler Park: Neighborhood Church, 1561 McLendon Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (two polling stations)

– LE / Lin-Mary Lin: Neighborhood Church, 1561 McLendon Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (two polling stations)

– CN / Coan Loisirs: Coan Park Recreation Center, 1530 Woodbine Ave., Atlanta, GA 30317

– DH / Druid Hills High: Druid Hills High School, 1798 Haygood Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

– EA / East Lake: St. Philip AME Church, 240 Candler Road SE, Gymnasium B, Atlanta, GA 30317

– ER / Emory Road: Emory Presbyterian Church, 1886 North Decatur Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30317

– EG / Emory South: Atlanta Metropolitan Church, 999 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, GA 30306

– MT / Metropolitan: First Iconium Baptist Church, 542 Moreland Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

– SE / Lac d’Argent: Ashford Park Elem., 2968 Cravenridge Drive NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319

3. Please note that all mail-in ballots for DeKalb County voters must be received by 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 to be counted.

4. The drop boxes are no longer available and it is too late to mail a completed postal ballot. Absentee ballots should be hand-delivered to the DeKalb Voters and Registration Office, located at 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300 in Decatur.

5. Reminder: If you are an elector with a physical disability or are 75 years of age or older, you do not need to queue. Just walk to the entrance and a poll worker will help you vote.

6. Voters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the changes to electoral laws as a result of SB202. Please read the SB202 FAQ:

7. For voters who plan to vote in person on election day, masks and social distancing are strongly encouraged. All poll workers will wear face covers and machinery / equipment will be disinfected frequently.

8. DeKalb County is pleased to provide materials to voters in Spanish and Korean. Click here to view a composite ballot and other documents:

9. Election results will be posted on as they are counted.

10. For any additional questions or for anyone who has a challenge trying to vote, please call 404-298-4020.

“We have had a flawless advance polling period and we expect the same for Election Day,” said Twyla Hart, Acting Director of DeKalb VRE. “We encourage all voters to exercise their constitutional right and make their votes count. “

For more information on DeKalb VRE, please visit

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